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Re: cc65 licensing

On Fri, Jun 25, 2004 at 05:16:27AM -0600, Benjamin Cutler wrote:
> | What exactly is unclear about this information?
> That it's not in the source files themselves.

I've stated that twice: No conclusion at all can be drawn from the fact that a
source file doesn't contain or reference a license. Any source is copyrighted,
regardless if it contains a license or not. So I would say it's more a problem
with your expectations than with the source:-)

> When you look at _just that part_ of the code tree, there are no indicators
> that any of that code wasn't written by you.

Yeah, and if you look at lines 210-213 of expr.c there is no indicator in
_just these lines_ that they were written by me:-) You cannot just have a look
at a small part of the whole and draw any wide ranging conclusions from it.

> This caused me some confusion, as I'm used to being able to
> find any relevant licensing info at the beginning of a source file,
> especially given that the code had apparently conflicting licenses.

No piece of source code is required to contain a license or a reference to a
license to be copyrighed. It is even doubtful, that a piece of source code
that contains a license may be copied without problems, if it is not sure that
the license was added by the person owning the rights to the code. So looking
for licenses in source code as you do it is not a very good idea at all.

> I'll be looking forward to the day when all the old
> code is gone and this can get tossed in 'main'. :)

That may happen one day, but it is currently not one of my primary goals. I'm
the first one to admit that the current license is suboptimal, but it's ok
for most practical purposes.

> Well, legal issues are a pretty serious thing as far as Debian in concerned,
> ~ so 'bending' the legal rules tends to get pretty well frowned upon.

I've seen maintainers ignore the Debian Social Contract. Maybe the situation
is better if it comes to legal rules, as you state.

> The
> 'trip' clause here is the 'only for a nominal fee' part of the original cc65
> license. It's rather ironic, I think, that a license purporting to borrow
> from the GPL ends up being non-free.

Yes that's ironic. On the other side it's fortunate that John didn't use the
GPL, because the GPL is not compatible with the zlib license used. All code
would need to be under the GPL if the original compiler would have been GPLed,
which in turn means that I would have never started using it as a base. So
it's probably good as it is, even if the license situation could be

> By the way, do you have any idea why the person who prepared the debian/
> folder in the tarball never actually included it in Debian? It could have
> been in 'non-free' all this time. :)

I've had a longer discussion with Michael, but I don't remember if this topic
was covered. But feel free to ask him yourself:

        michael. klein. at puffin. lb. shuttle.  de



Ullrich von Bassewitz                                  uz@musoftware.de

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